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What is the statute of limitations for crimes in New York?

The Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution entitles you to a speedy and public trial for any criminal charges you face. New York statutes of limitations are partly inspired by this idea.

The statutes of limitations are laws that limit the amount of time that a prosecutor has to file charges against you. However, certain situations might extend this time limit.

Your rights are of the utmost importance. That is why these laws are in place: to preserve your ability to gather the evidence necessary to defend yourself. However, the government has balanced the rights of defendants against the rights of victims. This results in longer time limits for more serious charges.

The time limit for a prosecutor to bring charges generally starts after the crime is discovered. As listed on FindLaw, here are some examples of legal time limits:

  • One year for many misdemeanors
  • Three years for violations committed against minors under fourteen
  • Three years for offenses they could carry prison sentences
  • Six years for charges they could have eight or more years in prison
  • Unlimited for murder, heinous crimes and embezzlement of public

The requirements for the prosecution to prove a case against you are relatively strict in New York courts. However, you would typically find that the quality and quantity of evidence available to support your defense decreases over time. Understanding the statute of limitations and the unique influence it has over a case's outcome is often one of the key elements of a complete criminal defense strategy.

All crimes require a personalized and stringent defense, especially violent crimes with extreme penalties and long time limits for filing charges. Therefore, please do not use this as legal advice. It is only meant to inform you.

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